Oral Answers to Questions — Israel Border (Tension)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd May 1954.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Henderson Mr Arthur Henderson , Rowley Regis and Tipton 12:00 am, 3rd May 1954

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the growing tension on the borders of Israel and the neighbouring States of Jordan and Syria, he will instruct Her Majesty's representative on the Security Council to propose that the small number of United Nations observers be substantially increased.

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

I understand that since last June the number of observers has been raised from 19 to about 32. It may well be that a still larger number is desirable, and Her Majesty's Government will certainly have this point in mind in further discussions of measures to reduce border tension.

Photo of Mr Arthur Henderson Mr Arthur Henderson , Rowley Regis and Tipton

Would the right hon, and learned Gentleman not agree that a much more extended system of observation both from the ground and from the air might well enable a clear assessment to be made of responsibility for these continued border incidents and might, indeed, help to reduce their numbers?

Photo of Sir Godfrey Nicholson Sir Godfrey Nicholson , Farnham

What exactly do these observers do? The more observers there are the more incidents there seem to be.

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

One of the difficulties of the present situation, as I understand it, is that their rÔle is much more to observe what has happened after it has happened than to take effective measures. The whole question of preventive measures on this frontier is very much under consideration.

Photo of Mr Arthur Henderson Mr Arthur Henderson , Rowley Regis and Tipton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will instruct Her Majesty's representative on the Security Council to propose that the Governments of Israel and Jordan should be invited to hold high level talks on the basis of the existing armistice agreement between them.

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

Our primary object in the current Security Council debate is to work out measures which will reduce the tension between Jordan and Israel by preventing border incidents and restoring the use of the armistice machinery. There are various ways of attacking this problem and I do not exclude the suggestion made by the right hon. Gentleman.

Photo of Captain James Duncan Captain James Duncan , South Angus

Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that these incidents are not confined to Jordan and Israel, but that Egypt is involved, too? Will he enter into similar conversations with Egypt?

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

The matter is now before the Security Council. In the Council's discussions regard is being had not merely to the Jordan and Israel frontier.